The story so far: Manchester citizens recently offered to help their (cough cough) Council achieve nine specific actions on climate change. One of those was;
7) Ensure that the ward plans of all 32 wards (and Strategic Regeneration Frameworks) include concrete actions and SMART goals around both the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the risks that Manchester’s citizens will face due to floods, heat-waves and the like.
(The ward plans are one excellent way that individual councillors could re-engage with citizens who want to make their area greener and more prepared for the sometimes unexpected changes to come.)
The Council didn’t exactly leap with joy at the offer, and now we have another reason why;
They only have 9 even nearly “up-to-date” plans. And they aren’t even answering straightforward questions about these, who the ward co-ordinators are, and how people can get involved in improving the plans.
It will entertain some that a search on Fallowfield Ward Plan throws up… Rusholme.
Just fyi, the lucky nine wards are Ardwick (n.b. a “local” plan), Baguley, Brooklands, Higher Blackley (n.b. an “East Local” plan), Hulme, Longsight, Moss Side, Northendenmanchester wards list with links to ward plans, and Rusholme,
A week ago MCFly sent this email to the Executive Member (Cllr Nigel Murphy) responsible for Ward Co-ordination, his assistant Exec (Cllr Bev Craig) and the Exec for the Environment (Cllr Kate Chappell).
Dear Councillor Murphy,
I am writing to you because one of the responsibilities listed on the relevant Council website page is “ward co-ordination.”
On Saturday I did a web search on the City Council’s website using all 32 ward names and the words “ward plan”.
For the 32 wards, I could find only 9 (at most) ward plans, and all of these seem to be for the period 2013/4. The document I created is attached.
Can you tell me
a) if the other ward plans exist, and if so, where I can find them?
b) are there ward plans for the year 2014/5 in development?
c) if the ward plan system is in fact being abandoned or is delayed, (as seems to be the case) could you point me to any prior announcement of this by the Council?
d) if there is no prior announcement, could you please provide a statement as to why the ward system is being abandoned.
Finally, if people in Manchester are interested in getting involved in helping create a ward plan for their ward, who should they contact? Is it their councillors? Is there a a central email address for ward co-ordinators, or a list of co-ordinators for the 32 different wards?
Many thanks in advance for your reply to all these questions!
It will doubtless shock readers to learn that there has been reply yet…
And for the benefit of any (i.e. all) readers of MCFly who haven’t read the so-called “refresh” of Manchester A Certain Future, conducted in dismal desperation back in 2012, here’s a bit about “local” (they mean ward) plans –
So, some other work for the Steering Group to progress…
MCFly says: What we are witnessing is the final gutting of the local state. It’s in full retreat after decades of attacks from both “neo-liberalism” and Westminster’s control-freakery. If you want some excellent context on this, try Adam Ramsay’s recent piece on Open Democracy, “On Brighton Beach: austerity, alienation and the battle for democracy.”
So, it’s simple; If the citizens of Manchester end up being even vaguely ready for the enormous challenges that lie ahead, it won’t be because of the Council. Hopefully not in spite of. But certainly not because of….
If you are still reading, you clearly have the stamina needed for the job. We are meeting on Tuesday 25th February at the Friends Meeting House, to make practical plans around this – and other – issues. If you want to be involved but can’t/couldn’t be there, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE 25th February: Received this today –
MCC15402 – Re: Questions re: status of ward plans and ward co-ordination
Thank you for your e mail. I will look into your queries and get back to you with a full reply as soon as possible.
Cllr Nigel Murphy
Labour Member for Hulme Ward
Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration
Tel: 0161 234 3350 (Internal only 800 3350)